Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 | 1:50 p.m.
The state today released its long-awaited list of businesses approved to operate medical marijuana businesses in Nevada. There’s just one problem — it’s nearly impossible to tell who’s in line to receive a license.
Of the 55 provisional dispensary licenses awarded by the state, only 18 included the name of the company receiving the license. The other 37 licensees were not identified.
That’s because unlike most documents received by state agencies, information given to the Department of Health and Human Services as part of a medical marijuana license application is not considered public record.
It can only be released if the company consents.
The exception was specifically written into the state’s medical marijuana law in 2013. It was meant to protect potentially sensitive financial information included in the applications. But it’s interpretation has been broadened to include any information in the applications, even the name of the company applying for the license.
The release of today’s rankings and scoring is one of the final steps that will lead to the opening of dispensaries and other medical marijuana businesses sometime next year.
Companies that received a provisional license from the state must still apply for business licenses and zoning approval with local jurisdictions.
The state approved 55 out of the 199 dispensary applications it received. Dispensaries are the storefronts that will sell medical marijuana to patients.
State law limits the number of dispensaries in any county. For instance, 40 dispensary licenses will be granted in Clark County. No dispensary applications were submitted in 11 of the state’s rural counties.
The state also approved 182 licenses for cultivation facilities, where the marijuana will be grown; 117 licenses for production facilities, where marijuana-infused edibles and concentrates will be made; and 17 licenses for independent laboratories, which will test the quality of medical marijuana.
There are currently 6,500 Nevadans with medical marijuana prescription cards. Of those, 4,728 are in Clark County.